Bed-Stuy mom, daughter grow shea butter business
A Bed-Stuy mother and daughter have entered the shea butter business to try and make the world a little smoother -- and profitable.
They say it's the best product for dry skin, especially when infused with essential oils and vitamins.
"All of our products have at least 95 percent pure shea content in them, which is relative to 5 percent or 10 percent [in competing products]," says Naa-Sakle Akuete.
Akuete's mother, Eugenia Akuete, provided inspiration for the company name: Eugenia Shea.
The older Akuete grew up in Ghana, where the plant was used to treat babies' skin during the dry season. Now, Eugenia Shea customers say they use it to treat ailments like eczema and psoriasis.
The Akuetes say they have hired 1,500 women back in Ghana to harvest shea trees to produce the butter. And they pay workers 20 percent more than the market price, they say.
"We feel that most companies will make money before they help others," says Eugenia Akuete. "To us, making money and helping others comes as a package."